AmChimney.com….American Chimney Cincinnati, OH
No one welcomes a chimney fire. Use these tips to help stay safe!
No one welcomes a chimney fire. Use these tips to help stay safe!
On this job, we work to repair an old brick wall downtown.
Follow along as we repaint a 3 sided fireplace for a customer.
If you are planning on buying a fireplace, consider these, 7 questions to help you determine some of the features you might like.
For this job, we’ll be installing a ” direct vent ” gas fireplace.
Regency , offers beautiful and innovative options for outdoor fireplaces!
This video highlights the sleek and stylish contemporary gas fireplace models offered by . . . . Regency Fire.
A video highlighting some of the beautiful traditional style fireplace designs offered by . . . Regency.
My name is Rick and I’m from Illinois. After having my yearly chimney sweeping and inspection, the serviceman said that the chase cover had “rusted out” and needs to be replaced. I didn’t get a chance to ask him what this meant, he just left the invoice in the door with the recommended repair listed. I don’t even know what chimney chase covers are, is this is crucial fix? Money is short right now.
You wouldn’t know it but in the profession we see a lot of rusted out chase covers. My guys write estimates for replacing a chimney
chase cover a few times a week. What the serviceman wrote on your invoice means that the chase cover, also known as the chase top, which actually covers the entire top of your chimney to keep out the elements and critters. It fits over the top of the chimney like a lid almost, and the chimney flue pipe extends up through the middle. What has likely happened in your situation is that the chimney chase cover, which is more often than not made of galvanized steel which is prone to rust, was allowing water to pool and as a result became rusted. This isn’t necessarily a pressing repair, but should be taken care of in a timely manner because the rust damage will continue to worsen until holes form and water penetrates the chimney’s flue.
Water damages almost all kinds of chimney covers including chimney caps and the chimney crowns. When it comes to caps or chase covers, I always recommend stainless steel. The extra cost of installing a stainless steel cap or chase cover over galvanized steel is completely worth the extended lifetime of the cap and additional reliability that you also receive. Rick, when you do decide to replace your chimney’s chase cover, elect for a stainless steel version. Although rust stain removal is not usually extremely difficult, the metal has already been weakened so replacement is definitely the best option.
Other times, rust problems are worsened by a poorly designed chimney chase. The chimney chase should be designed such that it sheds water from the chimney and does not allow it to pool. As a rule, if water is allowed to pool anywhere, whether it be on top of a chimney crown or on top of brick or anywhere else, a water problem will ensue. The chase should actually be constructed so that there is a little bit of a slope from the middle, where the chimney’s flue will stick out, down to the sides. This will allow water to run off of the top of the chimney and prevent premature rust problems.
Chimney chase covers come in different designs based on how many flue systems are being vented through your chimney. There are chase covers available with two or three holes for multiple flues and chases where the hole is off center for specially designed chimneys. There are many custom chase cover manufacturers who will design your chase cover to your exact dimensions. You want to make sure that you are taking accurate flue diameter measurements during this process as well.
Rick, as I said before, I would definitely not let this problem go for too long because rust stains are more than just unsightly, once water is able to enter the chimney you experience more problems will surely begin to occur. Make sure you are choosing a quality material and that the chase cover is sloped downward to prevent water from pooling.
Thanks for your question! People actually wonder this a lot. Cleaning creosote is very important and you are very right in assuming that the fireplace should not be burned. Creosote buildup is a major concern for us in the chimney industry. Built up creosote can cause chimney fires or will fuel a chimney fire and cause it to last longer and burn stronger. If a fire sparks in the chimney’s flue, creosote is likely to catch. A puffy creosote will act as fuel for for the fire. Another danger of having creosote buildup in your chimney is that it can cover a vertical crack in the flue tile or a missing mortar joint which are signs that a chimney fire has already occurred.
When it comes to cleaning creosote out of your chimney, your best bet is going to be having a chimney professional come out to sweep the chimney. A chimney professional who completes a video inspection of the chimney’s flue after sweeping it is worth the money because he can actually look in the chimney’s flue to make sure that there are no physical problems after removing all of the pesky creosote that builds up over time. NFPA 211 recommends that chimneys be swept yearly or after you burn through a cord of wood.
Creosote sweeping logs are an option available to you in between having your chimney professionally serviced. As stated on the package, these logs should not replace a chimney professional servicing your chimney, but is great for use before a chimney professional comes to service the chimney. Creosote sweeping logs prevent new creosote from building up and treats existing creosote to make it easier to remove all creosote, even glazed creosote when the professional comes out.
Some folks will invest in their own chimney sweeping brushes. This one time investment allows them to clean their chimney’s flue yearly without having to call out a pro. If you wish to sweep your own chimney, more power to you. I would still absolutely recommend having a professional come out to evaluate the integrity of the flue system every year. Not all creosote is easily removable. Glazed creosote can ignite when the temperature in the flue system reaches a certain level and the creosote coats the walls of flue system. Usually glazed creosote is found in the flue after a chimney fire.
When it comes down to it you can never be sure what exactly is happening in your flue system without a video inspection of the chimney’s inner walls. Glazed creosote and excessively tall chimneys prevent problems for people who want to save money and sweep their own chimneys. At the end of the day I would honestly recommend doing some shopping when hiring a chimney professional. You should also have them come out to inspect the chimney yearly, even if you do want to sweep it yourself. But, in my opinion it is not worth the cost or effort.
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